What are the signs someone has a problem with meth? Well, if they’re doing math, it’s most likely a problem.
To be fair, there are certain substances that present as addictions that are enjoyed by thousands of individuals who never develop a problem with them. Despite the numbers associated with alcohol — 88,000 people die annually from alcohol-related causes, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism— more than 85 percent of Americans ages 18 and older report drinking alcohol at some point during their lifetime.
Weed is another substance that is consumed regularly by many individuals who never develop a problem with it. One in seven adults used marijuana in 2017, according to the news agency Reuters, but only 9 percent of those people develop a dependence on it.
But meth? Buy meth online is a whole different substance. It’s been attributed to varying stages of the overall addiction epidemic in America, but it can be difficult to separate fact from hysteria, which is critical to understanding it. So if you’re looking for signs someone has a problem with meth, it’s important to understand what it is, where it comes from, and how it can develop into an addiction.
What Is Meth?
signs someone has a problem with methShort for methamphetamine, meth, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) “is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Crystal methamphetamine is a form of the drug that looks like glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white rocks. It is chemically similar to amphetamine, a drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder. Other common names for methamphetamine include blue, crystal, ice, meth, and speed.”
It’s important to distinguish between meth, the drug sought by users and sold illegally on the street, and amphetamines, the chemicals from which it’s derived. “Amphetamines are derived from ephedra (Ephedra sinica), a plant native to China and Mongolia,” according to the science website Live Science. “The plant contains ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which are natural alkaloids, or nitrogenous organic compounds that cause a physiological response in humans.”
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Notes that while “people have used ephedra for centuries in China for colds, fever, flu, headaches, asthma, nasal congestion, and wheezing,” such holistic relief comes from the natural properties of the ma huang herb, whose stimulant properties also contributed “to the herb’s effectiveness as an appetite suppressant, especially when combined with caffeine, aspirin or both. By isolating those ephedrine properties, Romanian chemist Lazar Edeleanu first synthesized amphetamine in 1887 at the University of Berlin, and in 1893, Japanese scientists Nagayoshi Nagai used it to synthesize methamphetamine.
(An important note of distinction: Pseudoephedrine, which can be used interchangeably with ephedrine in the manufacture of meth and became a key ingredient in over-the-counter cold medicines like Sudafed, was first developed in 1889, also by German chemists. In many instances, American pharmaceutical companies used pseudoephedrine as the primary ingredient in many of their amphetamine-based and amphetamine-related products.)
According to the website History.com, “Methamphetamine was difficult to make until 1919 when another Japanese chemist — Akira Ogata — streamlined the process. He used phosphorus and iodine to reduce the ephedrine into a crystallized form, creating the world’s first crystal meth.” Ten years later, American biochemist Gordon Alles discovered the physiological effects of amphetamine, which led to the development of pharmaceutical medications for the treatment of congestion and asthma. “From 1933 to 1948, amphetamine was included in an over-the-counter nasal-congestion inhaler called Benzedrine,” the Live Science article notes. In addition, according to History.com , “Methamphetamine was used early on as a medical treatment for narcolepsy, asthma, and as a weight-loss drug. During World War II, the Allies and Axis powers both used the drug to keep troops awake.”